Metabonomic and metallomic profiling in the amniotic fluid of malnourished pregnant rats

Qing Shen, Xin Li, Yunping Qiu, Mingming Su, Yumin Liu, Houkai Li, Xiaoyan Wang, Xiangyu Zou, Chonghuai Yan, Lan Yu, Sheng Li, Chunling Wan, Lin He, Wei Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Epidemiology and studies in animal models have revealed that prenatal malnutrition is highly correlated with abnormal fetal neurodevelopment. We present here a combined metabonomic and metallomic profiling technique to associate the metabolic and trace-elemental composition variations of rat amniotic fluid (AF) in malnourished pregnant rats with the retardation of fetal rat neurodevelopment. The AF samples from three groups of pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats, which were fed either a normal diet, a low-protein diet, or "a famine diet", were subjected to GC/MS and ICP/MS combined with multivariate data analysis (MVDA). PCA scores plot of both GC/ MS and ICP/MS data showed similar and unique metabolic signatures of AF in response to the different diets. Rats in the famine group released increased amounts of glycine, inositol, putrescine, and rubidium and decreased amounts of methionine, dopa, tryptophan, glutamine, zinc, cobalt, and selenium in the AF. These discriminable variations in the AF may indicate the abnormality of a number of metabolic pathways in fetal rats including the folate cycle and methionine pathway, the monoamine pathway, and tri-iodothyronine (T3) metabolism. The abnormalities may be the result of metabolites or elemental differences or a combination of both. This study demonstrates the potential of combining profiling of small-molecule metabolites and trace elements to broaden the understanding of biological variations associated with fetal neurodevelopment induced by environmental perturbation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2151-2157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Amniotic fluid
  • Metabolic profiling
  • Metabonomics
  • Metallomics
  • Neurodevel-opment
  • Prenatal malnutrition
  • Trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry


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